The way prosecutors tell it, Miami-born Albert Gonzalez is the all-time kingpin of cybercrime. He is the accused mastermind of a massive plot to steal more than 130 million credit cards by hacking into computer systems and processing networks and then reselling the numbers on the worldwide black market.
The alleged scheme is truly astonishing in its scope and audacity — 130 million credit cards snatched from unwitting American consumers who had no inkling they had been victims of identity theft and no way to prevent the crime. What is even more dispiriting is the apparent ease with which the plot was carried out and the abject failure of corporate America to safeguard the integrity of the credit card system.
The customer identity security system is blinking red. The business world must wake up and realize that its security has been breached and the identities of valued customers — their money, credit and peace of mind — are easy pickings for anyone with the brass and smarts to penetrate an outdated defense system.
Legendary criminals like John Dillinger and Willie Sutton specialized in robbing banks. As Sutton famously said, "That's where the money is." Today, they'd be considered chumps. Robbing banks is so 20th century. Stealing IDs is where the money is.
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